National CineMedia (NCM) Upfront 2016: For America’s Movie Network, It’s All about Millennials, Content, and Data

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National CineMedia (NCM) presented its fifth annual upfront event at the
AMC Lincoln Square movie theater in New York today, and it was all about
Millennials, content, and data for America’s Movie Network.

NCM’s new CEO, Andy England, started off the presentation by noting that
he had finally found all of the hard-to-reach young people he had been
searching for in his many years as a marketer — they’re at the movies.
“358 million tickets were sold to Millennials at our theaters last year.
Put simply, we have more Millennials visiting our theaters in one year
than there are people in the United States, 36 million more. So, why do
Millennials love the movies? Because this is the best content there is.
We have this highly desirable audience because we have the best content.
Opening weekend for movies are, by definition, culturally relevant.
Millennials want to see films as they are released because it puts them
in the know. It gives them social currency. Having a point of view on Deadpool
or the Jungle Book, or being excited about Bad Moms, is to
be part of the narrative or to be woven into the fabric of popular


NCM’s newly
president, Cliff Marks, then took the stage to talk about
Millennial moviegoers, noting, “NCM is the #1 weekend network for all
demos, reaching over 700 million moviegoers every year. But the really
big news is that our Millennial movie-going audience grew over 16
percent in 2015 and is already up 8 percent so far this year! We are now
a premier Millennial network, with an average A18-34 weekly rating of
9.9 in 2015 — that’s any given week of any given month of the year.
Nobody else but NCM can deliver an engaged Millennial audience with that
level of viewable GRPs on a consistent basis.”

NCM also unveiled new research from a joint study with Omnicom Media
Group’s Annalect
and CivicScience
about Millennials’ movie-going habits, which offers some great insights
for advertisers, studios and theater owners. Millennials make up the
largest frequent movie-going age group, and this generation is highly
invested in the overall movie-going process:

  • Millennials are 50 percent more likely than the general population to
    say that movies are a passion of theirs.
  • Millennials want to talk about their movie-going experience, and are
    more likely to be influenced by social media (Facebook and YouTube in
  • 46 percent of Millennials aim to go to the movies on a film’s opening
  • The most frequently reported reason for seeing a movie in a theater is
    that Millennials don’t want to miss out by waiting until a movie is
    available at home.
  • Exclusive theatrical formats like IMAX and 11.1 surround sound,
    coupled with luxury amenities like recliner seating and upgraded food
    options, are key drivers for a generation willing to pay more for a
    better experience.
  • Millennials are the age group most likely to purchase movie tickets in
  • 86 percent of Millennials arrive early to the movie theater.

    here to view the full study, Now Showing: Millennials’ Movie-Going

Marks added, “And we all know, Millennials don’t just want content
pushed out to them; they like to personally interact with it as well.
We’ve listened to the demand for brand interactivity, and NCM is proud
to be working with Audience
and TimePlay
to bring both gesture-based and mobile phone-based interactivity to
cinema. We’ll be launching on approximately 500 screens and growing to
over 1000 in the near future so consumers can interact with your brands
live on the big screen.”


2015 was the biggest year ever at the movies, but as Paul Dergarabedian,
senior media analyst for comScore,
pointed out, the good news doesn’t end there. “2016 is off to a
blistering start, pushing year-to-date box office revenue up nearly 8%
vs. last year. The line-up of films on tap for Q4 2016 through Q3 2017
is, according to comScore’s PreAct service, already resonating on social
media, and that is a compelling indicator that the marketing campaigns
for these films are effectively creating excitement among potential
moviegoers and thus implying continued solid attendance in movie
theaters down the road.” Dergarabedian concluded, “This overall growth
is not an anomaly, it’s a long-term trend. And this trend is going to
continue since going out to the movies remains a singular, viable and
integral part of today’s entertainment diet while at the same time
serves the very human desire to enjoy the communal and immersive
experience of the movie theater itself.”

The 2016/17
movie season
truly has something for everyone, with great new film
slates from established and emerging studios alike. NCM showcased
content from several highly-anticipated movies throughout its
presentation, including The
Edge of Seventeen
, a wry coming-of-age comedy from STX with a
refreshingly authentic voice introduced by Hailee Steinfield; Walt
Disney Studios’″ rel=”nofollow”>Rogue
One: A Star Wars Story
, about resistance fighters who have
united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star; Marvel’s Doctor
starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the sorcerer
supreme; Bad
a new comedy from STX and the writers of The Hangover,
and Rings,
the third film of Paramount’s Ring
horror series. There was also a very special sneak peek from The Walt
Disney Studios VP, Cinema Partnerships, David Sieden, featuring the
long-awaited sequel Finding
, which takes moviegoers back to the extraordinary
underwater world of Finding Nemo after 13 years; and Moana,
the animated tale of an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring
mission to save her people.

Marks added, “Film planning has really changed in recent years, and the
studios have recognized the need to spread out major releases throughout
the year. There’s still a myth out there that only summer and holiday
movies deliver big audiences, but NCM’s 1st Quarter 2016 Millennial
audience was 97% of our 4th Quarter attendance — nearly identical —
which just goes to prove that cinema is a year-round advertising
solution for brands.”


“NCM is the connector between brands and movie audiences,” NCM Chief
Revenue Officer Bennett Fogel told the upfront crowd. “This statement
defines our commitment to not only help you make that valuable
connection, but to do so in more effective and efficient ways than
anyone ever thought possible. As part of our transformation into a
state-of-the-art premium video platform, we have developed a completely
new inventory management system and are launching the first ever Data
Management Platform for a cinema network with the Nielsen Marketing

Fogel then went on to introduce the new and exciting ways that America’s
Movie Network is bringing cinema advertising into today’s world of
enhanced targeting and big data:

  • Effective this upfront cycle, with the full rollout of NCM’s Cinema
    Audience Targeting Optimizer (CATO)
    , advertisers to go beyond
    targeting by MPAA rating (G/PG, PG13 and R) to build media schedules
    at the film and genre level. NCM can now more effectively target a
    brand’s key audience by matching it to the movie titles and/or genres
    that can best deliver that audience in a given campaign schedule.
  • To further enhance the connection between brands and movie audiences,
    NCM will also be filtering media schedules through its new Nielsen
    Marketing Cloud
    Data Management Platform (DMP). NCM’s DMP
    will house thousands of first-, second- and third-party consumer data
    sets, including rich moviegoer data derived from loyalty programs,
    mobile panels, beacon networks and credit card purchases. NCM’s
    alliance with the Nielsen Marketing Cloud DMP — the first of its kind
    in the cinema industry — will allow it to offer transaction-based
    insights, better targeted campaigns, and closed-loop ROI.
  • NCM’s Cinema Accelerator identifies moviegoers’ mobile devices
    as they enter a theater, and re-engages them with a brand’s messages
    wherever they are consuming content — on mobile, social, or online.
    This additional digital touchpoint provides an ideal way to leverage a
    big screen ad with small screen activations to drive traffic and

Fogel concluded, “Aside from all of the predictive data that we can
provide on the front end, quantifying business lift is the key ROI
metric that we are all being held accountable for today. Our physical
locations give us the unique ability to track audiences from our
theaters to your businesses. By working with geo-location based research
companies, we have partnered with clients to conduct dozens of studies
in the retail, QSR, and CPG categories. The results have been
consistent, and almost startling, in terms of incremental traffic and
sales lift!”

CEO Andy England perhaps best summed up NCM’s upfront message when he
said, “Huge Millennial reach and the best video content aren’t enough.
Giving you the important data to help your brand reach and target the
audience you need; while finding new ways for you to connect with the
audience before, during and after the movies — that will be the next
generation of cinema advertising. NCM will put your brand in front of a
huge Millennial audience watching the best content available, and
support you with data and digital marketing. Welcome to the movies.”

About National CineMedia (NCM)

National CineMedia (NCM) is America’s Movie Network. As the #1 weekend
network in the U.S., NCM is the connector between brands and movie
audiences. More than 700 million moviegoers annually attend theatres
that are currently under contract to present NCM’s FirstLook
pre-show in over 40 leading national and regional theatre circuits
including AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark Holdings,
Inc. (NYSE:CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC). NCM’s cinema
advertising network offers broad reach and unparalleled audience
engagement with approximately 20,400 screens in approximately 1,600
theaters in 187 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). NCM Digital
goes beyond the big screen, extending in-theatre campaigns into online
and mobile marketing programs to reach entertainment audiences. National
CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) owns a 43.6% interest in, and is the
managing member of, National CineMedia, LLC. For more information, visit


National CineMedia
Jane Finnerty, 212-931-8117
Obletz, 212-931-8119